tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 17, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
>> reporter: ohio today. iowa -- two states that began early voting over the course of last few days. new hampshire tomorrow. oddly enough, a last restful weekend in camp david is expected for the president this coming weekend, martin. >> fantastic. nbc's mike vthank you for watching. chris math tews and "hardball" right now. time of reckoning. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris in new york. let me start with this, president obama won last night. he had good lines, lines of attack, finishing strong with a homer in the ninth when mitt romney was foolish enough to throw that 10 0% line high and down the middle. obama swung for the fences and ended the night with his best of the night. but this battle is just getting serious. obama got beaten and came back
to win but these are battles, the war rages right now. only one man with the power to swing it around. he needs to tell us, that's the president, where he's taking us economically, he need to lay out the highway to the future and lay it out in the real terrain of the past four years. that's part of it. saying where he's taking us. he also needs to say where the other guy would. i love what he said about romney last night having a one-point plan, that being to give big tax breaks, even more tax breaks to the people at the top. to dump on the 47% he said he's not going to bother with. the big "hardball" question of the night, where does this stand politically right now? where does it appear to be headed between now and the 20 days from now when the american people give their final verdict? "the huffington post" howard fineman, nbc political consultant. president obama came out swinging today on the trail as he referenced last night's debate. let's watch that together. >> so, let's recap what we learned last night.
his tax plan doesn't add up. his jobs plan doesn't create jobs. his deficit reductions plan adds to the deficit. so, iowa, you know, everybody here's heard of the new deal. you've heard of the fair deal. you've heard of the square deal. mitt romney's trying to sell you a sketchy deal. we are not buying it. we know better. we've been there. we tried that. we're not going back. we're moving forward. that's why i need your vote! we've got to finish what we started in 2008. you don't want to invest in that sketchy deal. >> we're back now. howard and john, let's try to do this straight up right now without any partisanship for a few minutes here from either side. john, try to hold back. i really want -- if you're being asked by your mother, close
relative, somebody really care to let them know the trail of truth, where does this campaign stand right now? we've got 20 days to go after last night's victory by the president, after the thumping two weeks ago, after the rough victory by biden, very rough by him. where does it all stand in terms of not just their number but the direction? howard first. >> well, it's a very close race. the popular vote totals, if you look at various compilations of all the polls has it dead even. 47%, approximately, for both candidates. significantly. nobody close under that statistic of 50%. electoral college is closer than it was a few weeks ago. the battleground states look the same. i think a couple more than there were. i think it hangs in the balance. i think that the president dug himself out of the hole he was in last night, but he is hardly home free. neither for that matter is mitt romney. i think what the candidates say,
directed especially at women, undecided women voters who were the focus last night, chris, is going to make all the difference in the world. whom they will chose, whom they will trust with their lives, with their future over the next few weeks. that's going to tell the tale. >> john, how does it look? >> i don't disagree with what howard said there. i think so last night the president did pretty well. the thing -- his big failure is he didn't say, what's my deal. he talked about all those deals out there. you could say that about mitt romney's sketchy deal but he doesn't have his own deal. i think that's his problem. he didn't lay out what he wants to do in the next four years. >> i'm close to agreeing on that because i think that was the missing feature last night and the vulnerable point. you start and then, howard. what is it that -- at least in format the president has to offer between now and the next 20 days? is it what i think it is, some notion of where he's taking us based on where he has taken us? he can't be something new. it has to be something based
upon the stimulus program, his basic belief in contains yan economics, his belief we have to do building of infrastructure, job creation in the public sector, something perhaps including a corporate tax cut as part of the deal. something that leads to something bigger than we've got, based on what he's done before. is that what you mean? >> i think he needs a big idea. he doesn't have a big idea. he doesn't have any idea what he wants to do in the next four years and nobody else does. say what you will about mitt romney, but i thought he was very consistent about what he wanted to do in the next four years. >> i agree with that. he keeps saying business, business, business, business, business. >> right. >> i'm from business, business, creates jobs, jobs -- business, business. i agree. there's no doubt what romney will be. he will be a ceo who believes the number one goal, his one-point plan as the president put it, is to take the tax burden off small business, which he -- >> i don't agree with that. his number one plan is to create jobs. >> he said by cutting taxes. >> well, whatever. >> well, that's what he will do. he doesn't create the jobs. he cuts the taxes and -- >> he's talking about creating jobs. that helps him with swing
voters. >> thank you. for a while i thought you were on the way to the truth. howard, you lost the path there. i think romney does offer a very simple solution. it is a one-point plan. i'll take the tax burden off business, small business, whatever, the other -- >> the tax burden. >> i'll make it easy for them to make money. cowboy capitalism will be back under me. all the rich people in the world will come to america to make business because this will be the easiest place to practice business in the world. that was his religion last night. now, can the president match that with a clear notion of what he knew? given what he's done, the stimulus package -- >> i understand, i understand. i understand, chris. i think once again bill clinton laid it out over the last many weeks. bill clinton talked with great infection enthusiasm about what bill clinton had done to stimulate business in the san diego area in terms of genome,
all the jobs that created. animation and virtual reality programs in orlando associated with disney that created nows of jobs in that area. i think the president might want to look at what he's done so far, talk about what he's done in terms of the auto industry -- >> right. >> look for -- look for other auto industries around the country -- >> why doesn't he say it? the industrial policies. >> yes, industrial policy. because that's what bill clinton put together deals involving government, business, and nonprofit sector, research sector. that was done all over the country. >> i really think there's a thing in politics, as david garth once said, the great new york guy about advertising. you know, actually, it was the ad for huey carrie when he ran for governor. before they tell you what they're going to do, ask them what they've done. it does no good for obama to throw out something brand new.
it has to be based on something he's had street cerd on. the auto industry. rescue the auto industry so it didn't go down. he did that. can he project that to larger numbers of industries, newer industries, to re-industrialize the united states? can that sell as a proposal for the next four years? >> you know, i think it might sell with some members of his base. i don't know if it's -- if it works with swing voters. i think the problem for him is he's out of money because we're going bankrupt. he also needs a big idea on how we're going to deal with our big bankrupt nation he helped, you know, some helped with bush and others. but it's a problem. >> he's not going to do that. >> he can't have a big idea. >> that's dwha all republicans want to do. they say do nothing in government and then you don't do anything, they say how come you've done anything and if you do anything they say why are you spending money. you can never win that argument with republicans. they'll never give you credit because that costs money -- go ahead. >> if the president is fighting in the ring of deficit reduction, he's unfairly he's
going to lose. republicans had as much to do with that as he does. >> let's go -- let's go back to last night a little bit. i want to run through some interesting points because they tell us more about how these two candidates are going. in romney's closinging statement he opened up an opportunity politically fort president by making a veiled reference to the 47%. he said 100%. comments the president failed to address in the first debate. let's watch the give and the take here. >> i think the president's campaign has tried to characterize me as someone who's very different than who i am. i care about 100% of the american people. i want 100% of the american people to have a bright and prosperous future. >> when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered themselves victims, who refuse personal responsibility? think about who he was talking about. folks on social security who have worked all their lives,
veterans who sacrificed for this country. students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this country's dreams. soldiers who are overseas, fighting for us right now. >> john, what was mitt romney trying to say when he said, i don't -- i really don't want to bother with -- i'm not going to bother with that 47%, after everything the president said there, he said, i'm not going to bother with those people. what does that mean when a candidate for president said i'm not going to bother with that 47% of the country? >> i think that romney understands now that that was a stupid thing to say. >> what did he mean by it? >> it was a stupid -- >> what did he mean by it? not the words. what demean by it? >> i'm not quite sure what he meant -- >> oh, come on. >> i guess he meant there's a lot of people waiting for government handouts and not going out and getting a job. that's kind of the bigger theme here. now, but the -- >> you mean the people on social security, people on disability, people that are students are not worthy of his intention as
president? >> no -- >> that's what he said. >> he was making a political statement, a stupid statement and he understands it was a stupid statement. but his statement yesterday was a good one that as-s as president he cares about 100% -- >> now he's on camera. you pick up the rock and see the bug life underneath. that's what you saw in boca raton. what's going on above the rock is more interesting -- >> let me make a bigger point. what barack obama kept talking about is not what he wanted to do. he kept talking about mitt romney. that's a negativism that's going to hurt his likability. >> let's end with you, howard. very importantly. it seems to me time is limited. one thing we can agree on. 20 days left. does the president have to focus on one objective? either to defend his record and argue how it will be better, either to take apart the mathematics of romney's proposal, the tax deductions and all that, or it can be a real populous campaign. this guy is the guy in that room
in boca raton. he's the man behind the curtain. this guy wants to help the very rich, the ones who had it made like he had it made and that's the country he wants to rule from. the ruling class. go at him like harry truman, like a son of a "b." whatever. can he choose between those three or keep dwigd up his time, money and attention between all three approaches? >> that's a profound, fact cal question, chris. i'm tempted to say he has to do all three, but if i had to pick one, i would at this point pick the upbeat message. as i understand it, the loose change out there, the undecided voters, in places like colorado and ohio and virginia and so on, are women. suburban women, working women. i think they want more of a positive message. they want a unifying message. they want optimism and strength. if the president can embody optimism and strength the way he did four years ago, i think that's his best way to go. let others carry the attack.
let bill clinton -- give bill clinton the job of trying to dismantle mitt romney. let other people do that. and you, barack obama, try to be the guy that you were four years ago, updated, wiser, stronger, more sophisticated than you were. >> i think the best way we agree the best way for him to stay in as starting pitcher and not get relieved, to use world series terminology, is to strike out the side. do the job of a pitcher and nobody's going to relieve you. thank you howard and john. in a strange way, had you a good point to make. obama has to sell the future. we all agree on that. coming up, president obama won the big moments in last night's debate. did he win back those key voting groups, those blocs, if you will, he needs to win to win the election? women. latinos, younger voters were big for him last time. can he get them energized again this time? did he do it last night. you're not really going to hated this one. bosses for romney. there's a growing list of ceos around the country ordering their employees to vote for, guess who?
mitt romney or else. talk about voter intimidation. vote for this guy or i'm going to fire you. the presidential temperament. both guys were feisty last night, circling the ring like prize fighters and getting in each other's faces but it was clear who looked more presidential, i think. james lip ton joins us to review last night's high-level political theater. finally, let me finish with this new element of bad politics. we've had voter suppression, voter intimidation, racial inciteness and now the family on the hill telling the little people down in the valley how to vote. this is "hardball" the place for politics. e here at a ford dealer with a little q&a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120.
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welcome back to "hardball." president obama had a job to do last night. in addition to debating mitt romney. he had to engage or reengage key parts of hi political base, get their enthusiasm up and make sure they go to the polls 20 days from now. one group was women. another, latinos. did obama move the needle, as they say for these important groups? well, victoria de francesca soto is an msnbc contributor. malik ka henderson covers politics for "the washington post." president obama took a question about equal pay for women last night and turned it into a broad
defense of what he does for women -- or did for women in his first term. let's listen to the president. >> when governor romney's campaign was asked about the lily ledbetter bill, whether he supported it, he saidings i'll get back to you. that's not the kind of advocacy women need in any ecomy. now, there's some other issues that have a bearing on how women succeed in the workplace. for example, better health care. now, a major difference in this campaign is that governor romney feels comfortable having politicians in washington decide the health care choices women are making. i think that's a mistake. in my health care bill, i said, insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage. to everybody who's insured. this is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue for
women. >> let me ask you this -- by the way, that president we saw last night is the president i've seen in several off the record briefings you get before state of the unions and stuff like that, where he's in control, pacing in his way, very logical in his span of knowledge. let me ask you this about the women's thing last night. i couldn't believe the president was lucky enough -- almost like he had a ringer last night. that woman brought up lily led bst better, which is a big that requires bosses to pay women the same amount for the same work they pay a male. seems to be deadly important to young women getting a start in the workplace to know no matter how hard they work, they'll get paid as much as everybody else. necessity won't be caught with a handicap lower pay range just to start with. he got into that. romney never -- not only de say i'll get back to you in the president's reference, last night we were watching in prime time, 60 million people watching, and he dodged it again. all that romney had to say is, well, i didn't vote for that in congress because i wasn't a member in congress but i would
certainly support it. he did not do that. there's a difference of ideology for these two people. obama beliefs in intervening, making sure equality is upheld 37 the other guy is a free mark marketeer who decides businesses should make the position. i can't see why obama can't make him pay for that. >> a missed opportunity, i think, for mitt romney yesterday, last night, when he didn't come out to say that he supported equal pay. you had -- >> does he? >> you had paul ryan come out and say, of course it's a team that supports equal pay. >> but he opposed lily ledbetter -- >> he did. >> why didn't he -- >> that law -- they, gu the reason they didn't support this law because this law would inkruse crease lawsuits. a law that makes it easier for women to sue around pay discrimination. it lengthens the statue of limitations. that's their argument. it's a chamber of commerce argument in some way. >> why should any woman like it?
>> and that's the problem. they are very much going to town on this today. lily ledbetter herself asking mitt romney this very question, why doesn't he support fair pay, and sort of pushing back against this whole binders for women issue, too, saying that wouldn't have helped her when she was kind of a low-level worker there. that was something that might appeal to sort of executive type women with these sorts of resumes and expanding the pool. but for works class women, it didn't necessarily resonate. i think you'll have a series of episodes where romney really has to talk about this and try to really maintain -- he's been able to close the gap, according to most of these goals, but i think he'll have some makeup work to do. >> he'll ram through with advertising saying this guy doesn't sment equal pay otherwise he would have said so. answering a question about fair pay for women, mitt romney talked about his effort to hire
more women, as he put it. >> important topic. one which i learned' great deal about, particularly as i was serving as governor of my state, because i had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men. we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks? they brought us whole binders full of women. >> i guess the problem there is -- the reason i think is the subject of a lot of murth out there. it wasn't a binder of resumes of women. it was a binder of women. i don't know what image came to mind but fanciful notions of what a binder of women constituted. what did you think of that phrase? some said how remote he was, he didn't know any women, didn't
come across from, work with, where were his colleagues that he needed a binder of women. not a binder of resumes of women. a binder of women. as is often with this guy, his strange, awkward, unearthly use of the language. your thoughts? >> my first thought last night was exactly that, awkward. he was not connecting with women. more specifically, he was missing the boat with wall matter mo walmart moms. in that term, president obama got the job done. these are the women who have suffered the most economically in the past four years. they're trying to find a footing and he needs these women. he did a very good job of connecting with them. not that he has binders but that he passed the lily ledbetter act, he worked for health care reform and worked on the economic side of women's issues. in this case, president obama did it. he got the job done.
and romney was just flailing the whole night when it came to women. >> the good news for big shots like mitt romney is that most people don't have careers, they have jobs. >> wage earners. >> they work for wages. the idea of wage inequality is maddening to people. the fact they go and put 50 hours of work in a week and work hard and they think and sweat and have the worries of the job and find out they're getting screwed, basically, i think that's more important than anything in the world. i don't know why the president doesn't ram it home. vicky as i call you now, and nia malik ka henderson. thank you. much more up on mitt romney and his binders of women. that line has taken off on the internet for a variety of reasons. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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back to "hardball." the side show. surely you noticed mitt romney's tone last night with moderator candiy crowley was something. at times he was trying to take on the role of moderator himself. look, back at past debates this is nothing new. from around cooper, jim lehrer and now cannedy crowley. here's a look back. >> this is the way the rules work here is that i get 60 second -- >> but the -- >> and then you get 30 seconds to respond. >> the president began this segment so i think i get the last word, so i -- >> well, i got to move you along. the next question is for you -- >> he actually got the first question, so i get the last question -- last answer on that one. >> but he gets the first word of that segment. >> anderson -- >> you said -- >> follow the rules. >> it's not tough. >> doesn't quite work like that but i'll give you a chance here -- >> the president said the government -- >> just going to keep talking. >> want to -- before quickly --
>> let's get back to medicare. >> excuse me. >> let's talk the other big one. >> no, no, let's not. >> we'll leave all these guys sitting here. >> big shot ceo behavior in the boardroom. i think candy heard for the first time, and the rest of us. the internet exploded as soon as mitt romney uttered the phrase "binders full of women." it was google's top search term and others made visuals. sandra fleck sikking her head through a binder. glass ceiling? broken. or it is so dark and scary in this binder. of course, the hillary clinton snapshot that never gets old with, romney still uses binders? lol, laugh out loud. binders are a blast from the past, i guess. speak of stuck in the past, sara silverm silverman tweeted about mitt romney. mitt romney is one of the most progressive thinkers of 1950. vote for obama, vote for obama,
vote for somebody or vote for romney. that's what a group of harlem fourth graders are calling for in their viral call to get out to vote all to the tune of "call me maybe ♪ ♪ how do you think ♪ from jobs tell me your reason ♪ ♪ you might think you just want to vote ♪ ♪ the truth is it's really not at all ♪ ♪ blue democrats and red republicans ♪ ♪ are out trying to make a difference ♪ ♪ now you are going to help them make it ♪ ♪ vote for obama or vote for romney ♪ ♪ it's your civic duty ♪ so many around the world love democracy ♪ ♪ it's your reminder vote for somebody ♪ >> a pep rally for voter turnout. what if your boss told you to vote for mitt romney or else?
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they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. i'm amanda drurry with your cnbc market wrap. with the dow eking out a five-point gain, nasdaq up by just three. ibm weighed down the dow. the stock sank $10 a share, nearly 5%, after reporting revenue falling short of estimates. after the closing bell, american express posted earnings that were in line with expectations. revenue was a tad light, though. the shares are lower in after-hours trade. and housing starts jumped 15% last month, much more than expected. and that is it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back over to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." here's a scary trend. a growing list of pro-romney ceos trying to scare their employees by essentially saying if obama wins the election, you should fear for your jobs. let's take a look at some of them. david seigal, the ceo of a florida real estate firm and infamous owner of the largest home in the country. he told employees, quote, if any new taxes are levied on me or my company, as our current president plans, i will have no choice but to reduce the size of the company. and in an e-mail to employees with the subject line, will the u.s. presidential election directly impact your future jobs at asg? ceo arthur allen wrote, quote f we fail as a nation to make the right choice on november 6th and we lose our independence as a company, i don't want to hear any complaints regarding the
fallout that will cost -- will most likely come. is this fear mongering cross the line? john nichols and chrystia freelander and author of a great new book "the plutocrats." let me start with you. this kind of old -- it remines me of brassed off, a british labor and tory party fight where the men on the hill, four or five of them, live in the big houses, look down on the people and tell the coal diggers, you better vote republican, or in that case torrey. this doesn't smack 6 the 21st century. >> or maybe the new 21st century. the income inequality -- the gap for the bosses on the hill than anybody else is greater than any other time in history. we like to think we live in this internet democracy, we're all the same, we all wear khaki, but the gap between plutocrat is
everybody is a waning casm. i couldn't have made this up. >> listen to what david seigal, one of the guys involved here, talks to someone working for him. in an interview he says, quote, i've always looked out for their best interest. we're like a family. they're like my children. i'm like the jewish more than telling them to seat their spinach and vote for romney. maybe this worked once, but referring to his grownup adults, male and female, working hard and taking care of their real families at home who need the food and the education money and all the other stuff, they call them your children is weird. >> it's weird and it's insulting. these are human beings, adults who have taken a job and probably sweated hard to make him rich. and to come at them with this sz an unsettling thing. we live in a different era now. unions, much weaker. we don't have the union density we had in 1996 when bill clinton
was running for re-election. workplaces, much less stable, much less secure. so when your boss comes along and says, boy, if you don't re-elect -- you don't elect romney there could be real trouble around here, i think it has resonance. i think it does scare some otherwise strong people, who may be deeply insulted but at the end of the day, they do think about it. >> the smart move is not to say, i'm your boss, i'm cracking the whip. the smart boss says, we're all in this together, if we go down, we all go down. >> the smart -- if we were to be a communications team for a republican ceo, i think we would suggest that the memo should say, it's in our shared interest to go -- >> your tone -- >> i'm a job -- >> anyway, so obama is anti-business and anti-growth as these people make him out to be. look at this nonsensical quote from mr. seigal aforementioned. i want my employees to know what will come if they make the wrong choice. they need to worry if obama gets re-elected. the company is doing the best
we've done in our history. we're making lots of money but we're -- we're doing as best -- is this some weird yogi berra-ism? we're making lots of money, we're growing, but we have to vote republican. >> the best of the times. i've never been better. i'm building the bigger house in the world. >> the stock market, the dow, it's climbing to 140,000. it's going to break all records. my belief it is because as jobless recovery because that's the business plan. cut costs by cutting intermediate management, reduce salaries, reduce packages with health care and do with-t with machines -- >> oar people outside the united states. no, chris, this is the great mystery of the rage of the plutocrats. the reality, when you look at the numbers, actually barack obama has been a pretty good president for the plutocrats. as you say, stock market has recovered. clinton was, too. the stock market has recovered. it's the middle class that's -- >> what drives a guy who makes a ton of money, has a lot of
power, or woman, to be fair -- >> there aren't that many women. >> why do they vote republican? is it they don't like having a president who knocks them? they're embarrassed bythy children when the president comes -- the president says, you're a bad -- he doesn't say that. he says, they should all pay they're fair sha ir. >> it's something different all together. they're looking for an incredible promise. no rules. and understand -- >> that's what romney said last night. he wants it to be a playpen where everybody in the world -- cowboy comes in the country and, there's no epa, there's no taxes, there's no -- there's no capital gains. everything is like -- there's no estate taxes. everything is great. >> i think the -- >> did you hear what he said last night. >> yes, i did. >> how great -- his idea of a great america is make all huge amounts of money you can at the top. >> yes, it is. it is. i think that's part of it, of course. i mean, wouldn't it be great to live in a world without a sheriff if you're one of the guys with guns? i think also that jewish mother comment gets at another reason why these guys feel so hurt and
oe fened by obama. they really see themselves in their own vision of the world, they see themselves as the heroes of the american story. not only as rich, but as virtuous. as people who have the key to successful for the whole country. and obama -- and i think a very delicate and subtle way, is challenging that. >> that's right. he just doesn't like us. these comments from david seigal f only businessmen voted in the election romney would win 99-1. we businessmen are so tired of being vilified when we create all the jobs, pay most of the taxes. thank god i come to work every day and employ 7,000 workers. virtuous, they carried the earth on their shoulders. >> that's why when mitt romney was in trouble in august and he needed to kind of rally his base, which is these guys, he went to paul ryan because they know paul ryan from that world. >> this isn't about deficit reduction. >> no. >> this is about -- >> this is about money going to
the top as fast as he can wire it. "plutocrats," great work. on target for this election. last night's debate was feisty. we learned a lot about both candidates based on their presence on the stage. the one and only james lipton from "inside the actor's studio" is coming here to review the theater of last night. it was something. this is "hardball" the place for politics. otc wildberry is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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>> i've got to say -- >> mr. president, have you looked at your pension? >> you know, i don't look at my pension. it's not as big as yours so it doesn't take as long. >> we're back. you witnessed high drama last night in the presidential debate. who better to analyze it than "inside the actor's studio" james lipton. you've been looking, identify been told by friend of ours, where exists the soul, the person of mitt romney. did you find him last night? >> i believedy. this all began in the new york times with that political comic strip in the sunday section showed him coming to me for acting advice. then i wrote the people for "new york" and then i was on your show. now have i this new political career. i'm not sure why. in any event, yes, i have been trying to chase him down. he's elusive. elusive for you and elusive for me. he tends to change character rather quickly. last night -- i've been coming to this conclusion for some time
but last night i suddenly said, yes, that's who he is. he is that boss who tells lame jokes and waits for everybody to laugh or else. and who keeps us forever off-balance, uncertain and anxious. and that, for me -- that is who he is. he is that boss. on the other hand, obama last night, especially when libya came up and he turned suddenly and he fixed his opponent with this stare and he began to talk to him very quietly but with seething anger underneath, because he had been accused of politicizing -- >> let's watch that point. we saw a dramatic face-off between mitt romney and president obama over that attack in libya, which was so tragic. we lost chris stevens and three others. let's watch. >> and the suggestion that anybody in my team, or the
secretary of state, our u.n. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. that's not what we do. mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. that's not what we do. that's not what i do as president. that's not what i do as commander in chief. >> i think it's interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack he went in the rose garden and said that this was an act of terror. >> that's what i said. >> you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? it was not a spontaneous demonstration. is that what you're saying. >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did, in fact, sir. so let me call it an act of terror. >> can you say that a little
louder, candy. >> he did call it an act of terror. >> you know, one thing i just realized right there, james, is that he didn't challenge candy. once she said it, that was the umpire's call. >> and when the president said, proceed, governor, you're about to walk off a cliff, and i'm not going to stop you, pal. you love movies. it was the face off at high noon and the president of the united states was gary cooper. at that moment, he became a hero, i think, and he was also very presidential. >> so she was grace kelly and shot the bad guy in the back, remember? sounds like a great scene. >> but i'm ready to make a pronouncement that may go no further than this desk and it's just my opinion. my opinion is i think america is now faced with a very clear choice. does it want a president or a boss? and romney would have no objection to being characterized as a boss because that's how he presents himself, as a ceo, he prefers to call it a job creator with that halo around the top.
>> and likes to fire people. >> right. that's the point. job creator is uch fa michl for job for pro fit creator and it often involves firing people. so he wouldn't mind being called a boss. so i really think that one of the profound decisions the american people have to make now is whether they want to be governed by a president or a boss and i mean a boss. >> well, about 15 minutes in last night, the town hall got heated with a confrontation over over drilling on federal land and may not be interesting to a lot of people but let's watch. >> in the last four years, you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half. >> not true, governor romney. >> by how much did you cut it, then? >> not true. >> how much did you cut licenses and permits on federal lands and federal waters? >> governor romney, here's what we did -- >> i had a question and the question was, how much did you cut them by?
>> i'm happy to answer the question. >> all right. and it is? >> i don't think anyone really believes that you're a person who is going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. you'll get your chance in a moment. i'm still speaking. and the answer is -- i don't think people believe that's the case. that wasn't a question. that was a statement. >> you know, a couple points. i don't think he understands the constitution of the united states. you don't say, you'll get your chance. and secondly, done der the rules of the debate, there will be no questioning of one candidate by the other. he subscribed to that yet he's a litter ralist when it comes to the constitution. your thoughts, james? >> if mitt romney were the president and barack obama were the challenger and these roles were reversed and obama treated romney, the president, in this construct the way he was treated, you would have heard an outcry from coast to coast and you would never, ever hear the end of it.
it is rude, it's inexcusable. i think it's a very, very sad day when the presidency, which has been under fire since nixon, and particularly this president can be treated this way by someone who is an american citizen. >> yeah. well, i think it's a lack of difference. i thought in the first debate he covered up his deference but through it all he looked down as a person. and none of it good. your thoughts on that? i don't think he respects the president as a person? >> i can't say that because i don't know. i can't read his mind. it's very hard to read that mind. in any event, i'd like to read his tax returns. but i find him very, very mysterious. is he looking down on the president, i wouldn't be at all surprised. a lot of people look down on the president. >> many of them bad. any way, thank you, james.
we hope to get you back after the last debate. >> i'll be back. the wealthy people now telling the little people how to vote. you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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you've heard the words dripping from the words of republicans and their backers on the right. the glenn beck claim that obama is a racest, the rush limbaugh dirt balling, newt gingrich claiming that obama is a food stamp president, looniness about the president being an i am positive ter, some figure born in east africa to con us, a cat call and jobless numbers. romney talking about in the wisconsin the other day, saying that it should go back to kenya. now comes the news tonight of how employers are intimidating their employees in the voting republic. voter suppression, voter intimidation, racial agitation, bosses telling workers how to vote. are people actually proud of doing this kind of thing?